Monday, March 4, 2024
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Leba’s hat trick secures win over PNG

Narieta Leba scored a hat-trick of goals to help Fiji to a slender 4-3 win over Papua New Guinea l in their OFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers pool match.

The match saw Fiji opening the score in the 11th minute through a well-executed set piece finished by former skipper Sofie Diyalowai.

However, the match had its moments of tension, with Filomena Racea receiving a yellow card in the 22nd minute and Cema Nasau, a key player in the Fiji Kulas forward line having to leave the field due to an ankle injury at the 30-minute mark.

Despite these setbacks, Fiji showed resilience, with 19-year-old Leba scoring her first goal in the 25th minute, followed by a header from a beautiful free kick delivered by Koleta Likuculacula.

An error from Fiji Kula’s goalkeeper and defensive miscommunication allowed PNG to capitalize, bringing the half time score line to 3-1.

The second half heightened the drama with Fiji awarded two penalties.

Kula’s Skipper Unaisi Tuberi’s initial penalty miss was quickly followed by another opportunity, which Leba converted, completing her hat trick and bringing Fiji to a 4-1 lead.

PNG fought back fiercely scoring two more goals, bringing the score to a nail-biting 4-3.

Substitutions in the 82nd minute saw Anasimeci Volitikoro and Koleta Likuculacula replaced after stellar deliveries, as Fiji held on to their lead, concluding the game with a narrow victory.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Journalist |


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